I know I am sounding like a worn record...Inert have continued flitting around Manor farm. As usual, due to one bit of bulldozed mud looking pretty much the same from week to week, I am hard pressed to figure what Inert have done on certain parts of the site. Any changes have to be reasonable major to notice.
A further complication was the mud. I kept off most of the site due to the squidgy porridge like mud the consistency of quicksand. I was not prepared to take risks sinking in, particularly as I had my DSLR and long lens with me. Even keeping to bulldozer tracks did not guarantee firm ground. About the safest tracks to follow were the ones made by lorries.
OK, enough whingeing, what have Inert been up to this past week?
- There are definite signs of tinkering around the Longwater road entrance. Some mounds of spoil have been flattened, the odd hole filled in, and bits scraped here and there. Just a ways south of Longwater road entrance, along the old west shore of Finch pond, I came across a very curious structure. It reminded me of a sand fort children would build on beaches.
- I get the feeling more grading has taken place along the west and north sides of the copse. Hard to determine. I didn't walk along the north embankment and I didn't venture on to this part of the site. It is/was far too soggy and cut up. Any trekking across this bit of Manor farm would have been a slow, hard slog.
- Another strange structure was discovered by the 'mighty mound'. At first it looked as if Inert had dug a large hole across the vehicle track. After sleeping on this thought and looking at my photos, I do wonder if the trackway to the east of the 'hole' has actually been built up. It was hard to tell. Getting close to the edge of the 'hole' was tricky as the soil was so soft, I was sinking up to my ankles in it with some 3m still to traverse. This 'hole' or built up track occurred quite late on in the week, as I saw a lorry trundling along this bit on Wednesday.
Because of this 'hole' and super soft mud, I couldn't continue eastward along the vehicle track. I had to take a long detour north around my 'mighty mound' (which I couldn't get to due to the soft mud), onto the land mass (old infill) and work my way carefully to the west shore of Cormorant lake (south). Only then could I follow lorry tracks south to get to the vehicle track on the east side of the 'hole'.
- Obvious, by far, was the amount of work done on Cormorant lake (south). Inert have been working on the west, south and east shores of this lake, continuing its infill. It appears a slow, random process, working on bits at a time. The bulldozer driver appears to employ two strategies. The first is the obvious one for infill; he drives directly at the lake's shore (basically orthogonal to it) pushing soil in with the entire face of the bulldozer blade. His second strategy is more subtle, he drives parallel to the edge of the shore, using one side of the bulldozer blade to sort of peel the soil into the lake.
Anyway, as usual having graded the land flat, Inert have dug it all up again producing a WWI type landscape. Again, although I walked along the latest infill to its northern edge, I didn't get right to its edge. It was too muddy.
I'm pleased to say that our faithful, hard working pump was still at it, wheezing and gurgling away. Water was still flowing freely into the small pond in which the pump rests. I did spook a Green Sandpiper, when I walked along the south edge of this little pond. It was tucked up, right at the base of the southern shore of the pond.
There is a fair amount of wildlife around. Its pattern has changed. You tend to see more large flocks of birds, particularly Lapwings, geese and ducks. Other species are around, just less apparent.
Finally, will Cemex, Inert et al finish landscaping Manor farm by the end of this year? Like last night's Brexit vote (bloody stupid morons, the lot of 'em ought to be put up against a white wall without blindfolds), this is a close call to my inexperienced eyes. Although both Cormorant lakes, taken together, are large, they do not seem to be on the same scale as Finch pond. Cormorant lake (north) is actually quite shallow, easily filled with the flattening of the north embankment. It is the northern parts of Cormorant lake (north) that might sink the meeting of the deadline.
I am particularly fascinated by how Inert will tackle the merging of Manor lake (south) and Manor lake (north - also known as East Fen) with Cormorant lake; to form the new, long Manor Lake. The former two lakes are quite full; with water levels well above Cormorant lake. I guess opening up the ditch between Manor lake and the pump would be the first action. This allows the water in Manor lake to be pumped away to reach the same level as Cormorant lake; enabling diggers and bulldozers to safely landscape the area.
A polite notice first: All photographs on this blog are owned by me and subject to copyright.